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The Sharkey Collection is now available on our digital archives

Seán (John/Jack) Sharkey, intelligence officer with the 3rd Tipperary Brigade was an avid photographer and took this collection of photographs during the War of Independence and the subsequent Civil War. His collection also includes documents and an autograph album from Tintown. The photographs consist of images of flying columns, training camps and individual members of the 3rd Tipperary Brigade, with some rare photographs of Dan Breen’s wedding in 1921.

John Sharkey, son of James Sharkey, a Clonmel Jeweller was born in 1900. The family lived at 44 Gladstone Street, Clonmel. The albums contain some family photos and views of the area around Clonmel. John was sent to Radcliffe College in England to be educated with the intention of preparing him for the Indian civil service. He was accepted into Oxford at the age of sixteen but was persuaded by family to defer his entry for a year. He returned to Clonmel where he became involved in the Sinn Féin movement in the aftermath of the Easter rising 1916. As at the time many jewellers had a photography service he was able to remain undercover throughout the War of Independence. The material was kindly loaned to Tipperary Studies by his son, Neil Sharkey, who also has the original box brownie camera which John used to take his photographs.

Neil’s article on the collection from the 1994 Tipperary Historical Journal  is available here The Third Tipperary Brigade – a photographic record

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